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Alluding to Nene's refusal to give the green light to the Russian nuclear deal, which was being pushed through by former president Jacob Zuma and which would have indebted South Africa to the European state for years to come, Ramaphosa praised Nene saying: "He served our people under very hard circumstances and often coming under pressure but he consistently defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance".

"After due consideration of the evidence presented by minister Nene at the commission‚ and in the interests of good governance‚ I have made a decision to accept his resignation".

"I have accepted Nhlanhla Nene's resignation as Minister of Finance".

His major achievement at the central bank was building the nation's foreign-exchange reserves to nearly 40 billion dollars from less than 10 billion dollars.

In a public apology after his testimony, Mr. Nene said he was sorry for failing to disclose the meetings, which took place when he was deputy finance minister and later when he was finance minister.

Ramaphosa said Mboweni, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank, brings in much-needed leadership.

Nene's appointment to Ramaphosa's Cabinet this year was widely welcomed as a break from the alleged plundering of state resources.

"For the country to move forward‚ we need to establish the full extent of state capture‚ identify those responsible for facilitating it and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again", he said.

The rand was a touch weaker on Wednesday morning, suggesting that markets have fully absorbed the appointment of the new finance minister.

The finance minister apologised on Friday for his visits to the Gupta family, who are placed at the centre of the state capture allegations.

"Look, I bumped into them in public gatherings once or twice, but I never had an engagement and I've never been asked by them to do anything for them", Nene said during the interview (at the 7:47 mark in the below video).

By 2.45pm it was trading 0.59% stronger at R14.76.

President Ramaphosa has appointed South Africa's fifth finance minister in three years after the latest head of the Treasury resigned over links to the family at the centre of the country's biggest post-apartheid scandal.

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